Junior class adds new elements to Indiana State Ethics Conference

March 7, 2014

Rebranded and renamed, the 9th ninth annual Ethics Conference at Indiana State University is set for March 26.

"Normally, the conference sees around 700 participants come for the week, but I hope that we can up that number this year," said Brooke Rust, marketing committee chairperson for the conference and a junior in the Scott College of Business. "We've not only invited professionals from different fields to come and speak, but we've also invited them to a new evening reception, which we hope will bring in more professionals."

The conference, which is themed "The Ripple Effect," will feature three keynote speakers, beginning at 11:45 a.m., March 26, with Mark Sifferlen, first vice president of ethics and compliance at Cummins Inc. Sifferlen also serves as the corporate secretary, looking at corporate governance and compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Stock Exchange.

Breakout sessions will run 1-1:50 p.m. and 3-3:50 p.m. with professionals from various industries speaking on ethics in the workplace.

The general session speaker, Rob Smith, will present between the breakout sessions at 2 p.m. Smith is senior vice president of the Lilly Foundation and director of corporate responsibility for Eli Lilly and Company, where he leads a team that has developed and executed a new corporate responsibility strategy, including launching a novel global health program in the area of non-communicable diseases. The evening session speaker, Dick Dubé, will begin at 5 p.m. Dubé, chief audit executive and ethics officer at Old National Bancorp, joined Old National as the General Auditor in January 1997 and was promoted to vice president, audit and risk manager in 1999.

Fourteen students from the junior class in Networks Financial Institute's Professional Development Program began planning for the conference in October by splitting into five teams - communication and coordination, marketing, accounting and finance, operations, and programming. By early March, the team's efforts had paid off through $13,000 in fundraising and 20 sponsors, including: Gold Level Sponsors - Indiana CPA Society, Patriot Investments, LLC, and State Farm; Silver Level Sponsors - Lockton and State Auto Insurance Ccompanies; Corporate Level Sponsors - Becker Professional Education, Arlington/Roe & Co., Dauby O'Connor & Zaleski LLC, Forrest Sherer Insurance, German American Bancorp, Katz, Sapper & Miller,; Kemper CPA Group LLP, Marathon Petroleum Company LP, Illinois Refining Division; Old National Bank; Sackrider & Co.mpany, and Terre Haute Savings Bank; Room Sponsors - ISU Credit Union, Joink Trusted Technology Services, and Kelly Services; as well as personal donations from Jeanell Lindauer and Bill Merrill.

The students also hope to attract participants to the pre-conference events, which include an ethics bowl on Monday, March 24, and a discussion on Tuesday, March 25, about concussions in contact athletics that will include athletes and medical professionals.

"The major change to the conference this year is that we've rebranded it, created a logo and tried to use video, Facebook and Twitter in a different way that fit the needs of our class," Rust said. "In the past, it was a just business conference, but we want the different colleges on campus and the community to get involved. I would love if all the students and community would come out and see that ethics are everywhere, not just in business, and that they would walk away with a better understanding of what ethics means to them."

The conference registration, speakers, and agenda are available at www.indstate.edu/ethics. There will also be same-day registration, beginning at 11 a.m. March 26 in Hulman Memorial Student Union the Dede Activity Centers, and attendees can expect door prizes and raffles, as well as free T-shirts given to the first 400 people at the conference.

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or Betsy.Simon@indstate.edu